Insurance plan binder Employers are permitted to offer an ICHRA to specified classes of employees including full-time, part-time and union employees represented by collective bargaining agreements. (Photo: Shutterstock)

In 1978, the U.S. was introduced to the 401(k). With it came new vocabularies, personal wealth calculators, the need for employees to learn about investing—and a major shift in the employer-employee contract. At the time, over half the workforce had a traditional defined benefit pension, with investments and distributions controlled by their employer. Forty years later, pension retirement programs have dropped dramatically, and 80 million Americans actively participate in a 401(k).

The shift significantly altered how employees rely on their employers for financial security in retirement, and it improved employees’ access to personal investment information — giving them more control over, and responsibility for, their own savings outcomes.

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